Torres - Josh Anderson

With SXSW in full swing, Brooklyn via Nashville singer Torres gears up to perform her festival showcases in a move that she describes as both 'exciting' and 'hard work'.

Today (March 11th 2014) marks Torres' return to SXSW after a successful run at 2013's event. She'll be performing at The Javelina as part of Riot Act Media's official showcase, before hitting the Brooklyn Vegan Day Party at Red 7 on Thursday (March 13th) and playing for MISRA Records' official showcase on Friday at Lamberts. 'It's super DIY; you're sweating, you smell awful and you're carrying all of your heavy gear by hand from venue to venue', Torres explains about the SXSW set up. 'Then you play a quick set with no soundcheck and you strip it back down and go to your next one. I think that every musician should have to do that at some point. Because how else are you going to earn your stripes?'

Watch Torres talk SXSW here:

Torres - real name Mackenzie Scott - has certainly been earning her stripes over the past year or so having released her self-titled debut album at the beginning of 2013 to much critical acclaim and going on to tour across the US, UK and Europe alongside the likes of Daughter, Okkervil River and Marnie Stern among others. 

It has been a long musical journey for her, however, and she struggled to find her own unique sound until quite recently. 'My family pitched in to get me a Gibson 335 last year for Christmas', she has previously mentioned. 'I didn't quite find the sound I was looking for until I started playing electric.' Her musical moniker was more of a sudden decision, something that appealed to her as she was recording the album because she 'liked the idea of giving a name to a certain part of myself'. She felt it would still have to personal in some sense, though, and indeed 'Torres' made the cut as it was her mother's maiden name.

Watch Torres perform 'A Proper Polish Welcome' here:

The album was recorded by 'Polk Salad Annie' singer Tony Joe White in his Tennessee home, who made a deliberate effort to keep the fantastic raw energy of all Torres' tracks. The sort of desperation and intense emotion that builds with the heavy drums and growling vocals rings true on songs such as 'Strange Hellos' and 'Chains', but there's always that strong acoustic vibe deeply rooted in spite of the powerful electronics.

Watch Torres perform 'Strange Hellos' here:

Torres has already enjoyed a spot at the Savannah Stopover Festival in Georgia this month, which has no doubt got her very prepared for her SXSW shows. 'My favourite thing about playing live is getting to feed off the audience', she reveals. 'When there's an energetic audience in the room, it makes all the difference in the world. I never get tired of playing live.' 

As part of the SXSW festival fun, her track 'Honey' has been made available for free download until the beginning of April with it being featured on the NPR SXSW playlist.

Listen to 'Honey' here:

Torres - Bekah Cope

Torres - 2014 Promo
Photo credits: Bekah Cope & Josh Anderson